PEARL DECADE vs YAMAHA STAGE (maple vs birch) PLUS bonus floor tom rant.........

mydadisjr

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Old timer here but I need another set!!

I am looking for a nice used stay-at-home kit for the living room. GOTTA HAVE the 10-12-14-20 configuration so that limits my choice, and I want to keep it around $500 (looking for used stuff). I found a really nice used Yamaha Stage Custom (newest style, made in China, all Birch, natural wood gloss finish) that looks good ...BUT....

PEARL DECADE also offers a similar 10-12-14-20 kit in a GORGEOUS gloss red burst with thin maple shells that have gotten some rave reviews. I would prefer the maple over birch, although it is not a deal breaker, plus the Pearl Red Burst is definitely a better finish. I also really like the new Pearl 3 point tom mount. Cost of the sets brand new with snare (I am looking for a used set) are: YAMAHA $679 PEARL $789

Both sets have the cheapo 6 lug 14" floor tom (WHY? How much does it cost to add 4 lugs to a drum? Five Bucks???). Just gotta live with that, I guess.

SOOO... do I go for the used Yamaha Stage Custom or wait for a used set of the Pearl Decade? WADDA YA THINK?

AND WHY DO THESE DRUM COMPANIES KEEP MAKING 6 LUG FLOOR TOMS??? AAARRRGGGHHHHH...............


PS... not looking for PDP, Mapex, Tama Starclassic or Gretsch Catalina (although Gretsch Renown would be nice.......).
 
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Tornado

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Get the Yamaha while it's still available.
 

jaymandude

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I'll probably be the minority here, in fact I'm sure of it.

Yamaha's are great. Everyone loves them. And they are, for the most part, and at the price point.

But if you can deal with the Pearl mounting system I think the Decade's sound better.. I never really cottoned to the sound of the Stage Custom. Not really. Not the way everyone here does. They sound kind of thin and raspy. The way cheap thin birch shells sound. So that makes sense :)
 

mydadisjr

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Pearl has a new 3 point mount that really looks great... no more of that goofy "clamp it to the rim" thing they did for years. Yes, I am very attracted to the thin maple shells but I think I might search forever to find the used Decade set with a 20 bass in the red gloss burst.
 

shuffle

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I love the SCs but ive wanted to chk out the Decades,the PDP Spectrums and Ludwig Element Evo Maple,as well.
The 6 lug makes litlle difference to me,they stay in tune.
 

Targalx

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My bias is immediately apparent in my profile photo. I've owned three versions of the Stage Custom over the years. A 1980s Power Stage kit in a white wrap (a decent kit for its time, but I wouldn't seek one out again), a 1990s original Stage Custom in Marina Green (still a very good kit nearly 25 years later) and the more current 2010 Stage Custom Birch in Sapphire Blue (best money I've ever spent).
 

DanRH

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I just got a Stage a custom kit in those sizes and I’ll tell you, that 14” FT with six lugs kicks ass with clear Emps. To me, those heads just work! Period! Pearl what?
 

Drumceet

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My stage customs came alive with clear Evans G2’s, G1’s bottom. Especially the 12” tom, now it just sings.

When I originally bought the drums I put on coated skins, and I much prefer the clear on these. My 14” and 16” toms sound incredible. I’ve always preferred birch over maple, I find the birch has more immediate bite.
 

Bri6366

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Pearl always makes a great kit in this price range. I thought the Decade Maples were the best in the DCP maple kit shootout. The finishes tend to pop more than Yamaha as well.

Having played a number of Stage Custom kits over various eras, they always have that characteristic Yamaha sound that loves microphones. When I see the new SC's I have to look for a second to determine if they are SC's or Absolute Hybrid Maples.

You can't go wrong either way......
 

shuffle

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My stage customs came alive with clear Evans G2’s, G1’s bottom. Especially the 12” tom, now it just sings.

When I originally bought the drums I put on coated skins, and I much prefer the clear on these. My 14” and 16” toms sound incredible. I’ve always preferred birch over maple, I find the birch has more immediate bite.
I call it crisp!
Bite works as well.
Sounds great!
 

5 Style

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I've only played the Yamaha SCs (in those same sizes) and I thought that they were great, particularly for the price. I liked the fact that the bass and the toms weren't super deep like they seem to be on some cheaper kits (which would be a deal breaker for me). There's something about the hardware and the overall vibe of Yamaha gear that I like more than pearl, but I tend to prefer maple shells (though I have to admit that those yamaha birch ones sounded great) and I generally like thinner better... so I'd be curious about those Pearls. Try them both out and see if one has a sound that jumps out as being better. I wouldn't be surprised though that even with the different types of shells that hey two kits sound pretty similar... I didn't like the snare that the Yamaha came with much and that might be the thing that makes the difference...
 

Drumceet

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I call it crisp!
Bite works as well.
Sounds great!
Yes! Exactly! Crisp is a great description. I also agree with the above comment about microphones. It’s one thing to play the kit live off the floor, but listening back to recorded live tracks, wow, I always get compliments from people out in the room and I think they punch well above their price point. Especially the kick drum, man does it sound great miked up.
 

croomz

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I love Yamaha & Pearl but I have to say the Stage Custom has a much higher build quality than the Decade Maple. Pearl made a huge mistake on the Decade's IMO by having a hideous visible seam on the drums....I dont have a picture of that but I'm sure someone can point you to it.
 

Loud

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I have a decade kit. Based on online demos, the Yamaha toms sound kinda “boingy.” Many people like that.

The decade build quality isn’t that great but once tuned, it has more character to me than stage customs.

Stage custom add-on toms are reasonably priced and pearl decade toms are overpriced.
 
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